Brazil is the world's second largest producer of beef, just after the United States, and exports increase is related to the implementation of new tools for the selection of zebu animals (Bos taurus indicus) that accounts for 80% of Brazil's meat exports. Meat tenderness is one of the most important organoleptic characteristic for consumers, and more knowledge of the biological processes involved in this phenotype is required. The advent of next-generation sequencing technology has provided tools to study the genome on a large scale, more quickly and less costly. This project aims to identify changes in expression of microRNAs associated with meat tenderness in Nellore cattle. Animals from a population generated in a previous research project of the Network BifeQuali Embrapa, completed in 2012, will be used. Samples of muscle tissue were collected and the phenotypes were measured. The total RNA from 34 animals with extreme shear force values were extracted and microRNA libraries of these samples will be sequenced on illumina MiSeq equipment. Finally, the differential expression analysis will be performed using bioinformatics tools.
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